Owners who aren’t keen on the cold are damaging their pet’s health by taking them for fewer walks, a new study has revealed.
Research showed that 56 percent of owners admit their dogs get less exercise when the temperature drops due to dog lover’s reluctance to venture outside.
One in six even hope for bad weather so they have an excuse to avoid taking their dog for a stroll.
As a result, dog owners reckon their pooch gets an hour less exercise every week compared to the summer.
Sean McCormack, head vet at dog nutrition company Tails.com, which commissioned the study, said: “Any dog which is living by a nutritious and healthy diet is going to remain as enthusiastic as ever about their daily walks, even as the temperature plummets and the heavens open.
“When this happens it’s easy to slip into hibernation mode and curl up on the sofa, but we want to encourage dog owners to don their thermals and pick up the lead – your dog will thank you for it.”
The study also found 36 per cent of owners have put off taking their dog out for a walk because they felt ‘too tired’.
In response to the findings, personal trainer and nutritionist Dan Osman started ‘Doggy Bootcamp’ – an exercise regime to put dogs and dog owners through their paces – a way to get man and pup pumped in a tail-wagging workout when the weather gets chilly.
Dan Osman added: “It’s cold and dark and wet outside, but your dog still wants to go out and burn off some energy.
“Dog owners have a responsibility to their four-legged friend to give them the happiest life possible, and sometimes that means going for walkies in less-than-ideal weather conditions.
“And while the benefits may not be clear at first, it is important to keep exercising with your dog through winter. It may even strengthen the bond between you.”